Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Whitleys in southern Spain!

During this holiday season we are so thankful for your support through prayers and giving to our projects and the CBF Offering for Global Missions. Your support makes it possible for the stories below to take place. We appreciate your ministry to immigrants and the most neglected here in Spain.

A Sereer Thanksgiving: Afella Lol!

This year for Thanksgiving we invited a Sereer family to “mi casa” for a traditional Thanksgiving celebration. It is hard to find whole turkeys here in Spain, so we had turkey legs, and turkey breast slices, along with mashed potatoes, corn, bread, green bean casserole made with fried onions from the states, dressing balls made with spices from the states, apple cobbler, and banana bread. We enjoyed sharing this American traditional meal and celebration with our friends from Senegal; and hearing in their language, Sereer, that it was afella lol!

The Sheep Saga Continues…

Recently we bought and delivered the supplies for the more secure sheep pen to Malle and the guys from Senegal. They soon had the new improved pen up and ready to go; so we found the small warehouse/barn where the man from Mauritania sells the sheep and we bought Clara and Randa. We loaded them in the “veggie vehicle” along with a bale of hay on the top and took them to their new home. The children scattered fresh hay on the floor of the pen to make a cozy home for our new sheep. This reminded me of the hay in the manger where Jesus was born that was used to make his bed and keep him warm and cozy.

The Gift of Christmas: Emmanuel; God with us…

This year we will be delivering Christmas gifts to many of the immigrants from Africa. We will be delivering blankets, vegetables, pasta, and rice from the kilos of care project. We will also be giving MP3 players donated by First Baptist Church, Blue Springs, Mo. The MP3 player will have the story of Jesus’ birth from the gospels loaded onto it in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, or Wolof. Please pray with us for each of the immigrants that will be receiving this gift; that they will begin to understand about Emmanuel; God with us.

Ladies in Waiting

The International Cluster of CBF has been focusing some of their efforts to help stop human trafficking. Many of the people that are hurt by human trafficking find themselves trapped in a life of prostitution. In hopes to help in a small way to alleviate the problem of human trafficking, we are reaching out to a few prostitutes in our area in Roquetas and Almeria, Spain. We hope to give them a MP3 player with the Christmas story from Matthew and Luke.

Please pray for us as we begin this new ministry to “ladies in waiting.”

Celebrating the Holidays

We attended a joint prayer service with the immigrant churches in Roquetas. It was awesome to worship and pray in English and Spanish with people from Spain, Germany, Romania, Argentina, America, Ghana, and Nigeria. Joel was asked to speak about reaching out to Muslims in our area, then the entire group prayed for missionaries who minister to Muslims and we prayed for our Muslim neighbors. Please pray that each Christian living here in Roquetas and Almeria will be sensitive to their neighbors and will look for opportunities to share the gospel with them. Also, please pray for Emmanuel, a Christian man from Nigeria, who is going to be working with Joel to reach out to the Muslim men in our neighborhoods.

During the month of December we will be doing a presentation in our church, Iglesia Evangelica Bautista, in Almeria. They have voted officially to take part in the ministry to African immigrants in Roquetas, and they have asked us to give a presentation about ministry that they can provide for these immigrants and how they can reach out to the lost in their area. On the day of our presentation, Megan is also going to announce to the church that she has asked Jesus into her heart to be her Savior. She is planning to be baptized this summer/fall when we are in Texas. Please pray for us as we give the presentation in Spanish and pray for Megan as she grows in her faith in the Lord.

Megan, Cade and Dylan will be doing two Christmas programs this year. The will do one in our church in Almeria in Spanish, and then they will do one in the Nigerian church in Roquetas in English. Megan will wear a shepherd girl’s costume and the boys will dress as two of the three kings. These are all very popular costumes in Spain during Christmas and Three King’s Day celebrations. Joel will also be speaking and our family will lead in singing a Christmas hymn as well. We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas with churches from Spain and Africa in both Spanish and English.

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